The Future of Television Is Apps

Jay Hawkinson


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Your television just became a more powerful local search tool.

On September 9, Apple unveiled the fourth-generation Apple TV during a press event that covered several product developments. The new Apple TV, available in October, makes it possible for people to use the Apple Siri voice control to tell their TV what they want to see and experience on their TV screens. In addition, with the more powerful hardware and tvOS operating system, viewers can search for information and multi-task as they use their TVs to watch programs, listen to music, and play games — which means it’s a lot easier for viewers to search and shop while they watch TV. The more search-enabled Apple TV is another sign that Apple is a more powerful member of your local search universe. Does your data content strategy include Apple?

Voice-Activated Searches

When Apple announced the newest Apple TV, Tim Cook and his team played up the importance of the voice-activated Siri command technology, which, in essence, will replace your remote as an information finder. As Apple demonstrated at its live event, instead of clicking your way through your TV to find all James Bond movies that star Daniel Craig, you can literally tell your TV, “I want to find only James Bond movies that star Daniel Craig,” and, voila, Apple TV will search the digital world to serve up your options.

Well, let’s say you’re watching James Bond dash about in a swanky tuxedo in Casino Royale on your iPad, and you’re suddenly reminded that you need to rent a tux for an upcoming wedding? With the newest version of Apple TV, you can tell Siri, “Show me tux rental stores near me,” and your TV-viewing experience is transformed into a shopping experience, all without your needing to leave the world of 007. Or perhaps you’d like to find one of the luxurious hotels where Casino Royale was filmed. With the direction Apple TV is headed, you will be able to ask, “What is the exact location of the hotel, and what are the rates?” You can craft your own James Bond vacation.

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Image Credit: Engadget

Apple versus Google

Thus, Apple is making the TV emulate the recently announced Google on Tap, a virtual assistant that makes it easier for consumers to find information on their mobile phones without needing to toggle from one application or Web screen to another. As Mark Bergen of Re/Code noted, both Apple TV and Google on Tap are competing to better “deep link” and index apps — “methods to scrape app content much like it has the Web.” Bergen wrote,

Apple has hinted at similar efforts on mobile, a move that concerns Google, since it would, conceivably, limit Google’s search reach. Google has yet to announce plans to bring its search to other platforms, like the television. But it’s not a stretch to assume it will.

No wonder Apple CEO Tim Cook announced, “The future of television is apps.”

Enterprise brands should pay attention to two major implications:

  • You need a comprehensive location data strategy that includes Apple in your ecosystem. To create customers and generate revenue with local search, you need to unleash data about all your locations to the platforms that amplify your data. You need to treat Apple as seriously as you do Google. Apple is one of a small handful of “data amplifiers” that can publish and distribute your data to where your customers are living, as opposed to you optimizing all your content to be more findable. And your customers are living in Apple’s world.

At its September 9 event, Apple made several other important announcements ranging from a more powerful Apple Watch to the release of a high-powered iPad Pro that could make the local patient/doctor more informative and compelling. Clearly, Apple is deepening its hold as a lifestyle brand in fields ranging from medicine to wearables, just as Google is with the creation of Alphabet. How are you responding to Apple’s growing importance as a search amplifier? Contact us. We’d love to talk.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 5.06.15 PMImage Credit: TechCrunch 

Jay Hawkinson

Author Jay Hawkinson

Jay Hawkinson is an interactive marketing professional with 20 years of sales, marketing and merchandising experience including more than 12 years focused on organic search optimization, paid search advertising, local search, mobile and social media.
Jay joined SIM Partners in 2006 as an equity partner developing ecommerce solutions and products for the travel and hospitality vertical. Jay currently oversees the Marketing team. Read more about Jay here.

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